Tea drinkers, take note!

Jul. 28th, 2017 10:29 am
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
If you like tea from Teavanna, go stock up NOW. They're all closing.

a metaphor or two

Jul. 28th, 2017 09:45 am
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Each time we do anything to resist the Occupation -- the coup that has taken over the White House is not an Administration -- each time we contact our elected representatives, go to a march, write a letter to the editor, do any thing at all to sustain each other and resist the crazyness, it is as if these acts, these ideas, the letters and calls and demonstrations and explanations to reluctant relatives and confused friends are all grains of sand.

Individual grains of sand are irritants, small bits of ground-down shell and lava and minerals, but together they build a beach, a sand bar, a beachhead. We are creating a strong, huge sand bar to stop Trump's pleasure cruise, no matter how much the gilded yacht's engines are pushed. And when that happens, several possibilities arise from the sand bar: climb aboard and take it back, put a hole in its side and let it sink, or watch the waves wash it away. Thing is, we need a ship of state, so we may all have to become metaphorical pirates, theoretical Elizabeth Swans and Will Turners and Jack Sparrows and Calico Jacks (the gentlest and least bloodthirsty of the ones on Black Sails) and take it back, strengthen the hull, replace the engine, repair the holes in it and the damage that's been done (it's a wonder the thing sails at all), take off the fake gilding and give it an honest paint job, and set it back on course.

(I considered saying we were all stone crabs, such as the ones that moved the Black Pearl back to water in Davy Jones's Locker (third POTC), but I am not that crabby this morning despite how much I like and admire the sea goddess Calypso.)

QotD

Jul. 28th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"We are not sheep or cows. God didn't create fences for us or boundaries to contain our nationalities. Man did. God didn't draw up religious barriers to separate us from each other. Man did. And on top of that, no father would like to see his children fighting or killing each other. The Creator favors the man who spreads loves over the man who spreads hate. A religious title does not make anyone more superior over another. If a kind man stands by his conscience and exhibits truth in his words and actions, he will stand by God regardless of his faith. If mankind wants to evolve, we must learn from our past mistakes. If not, our technology will evolve without us." -- Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem [via Goodreads]

fairestcat: naked woman reading. vintage (Reading)
[personal profile] fairestcat
Posting another book post, because I'm about to leave for a week of camping at a pagan festival. Since I'm not actually pagan, just pagan-adjacent, and so have no interest in most of the panels and rituals, I mostly end up relaxing and reading a lot. It should be lovely.

The last week has been a mix of queer romances and SF/F short stories.

Seasons of Glass and Iron - Amal El-Mohtar - ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

A gorgeous contemporary fairytale about women saving each other. read more )

Things With Beards - Sam J. Miller - ★ ★ ★ ★

An intriguing and unsettling sequel to the movie The Thing, this is ultimately a story about identity, what we hide of ourselves, what we reveal, and what that choice costs us. read more )

The Orangery - Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam - ★ ★ ★ ★

A striking story about predatory men and the choices women make to escape them, told through the framework of Greek myth.

A Fist of Permutations in Lighting and Wildflowers - Alyssa Wong - ★ ★ ★ ★

Gorgeous, beautifully written story about sisterhood and loss and individual choice, told through a metaphor of superpowers. read more )

Touring With the Alien - Carolyn Ives Gilman - ★ ★

I wanted to like this story -- it's certainly well-written -- but found myself fundamentally disagreeing with it instead. read more )

Spice and Smoke (Bollywood Confidential #1) - Suleikha Snyder - ★

Wow did I hate this book. Enough that I rage-quit it about 2/3 of the way through.

From the summary I went into this book expecting poly relationship negotiations and a generally happy poly ending for everyone.

What I got was jealousy, bitterness and dishonesty, with a side of "you're only sleeping around because you're unhappy," and "when you're really in love with someone you'll want to be monogamous." read more )

Madeleine - Amal El-Mohtar - ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

A gorgeous story about mourning and loss and memory and coming out of the dark.

Madeleine's slow, unexpected journey back from grief is just perfect.

Waiting For The Flood - Alexis Hall - ★ ★ ★ ★

A lovely story about mourning for what might have been and finding the courage to once again dream of the future. read more )

And Their Lips Rang With The Sun - Amal El-Mohtar - ★ ★ ★ ★

A beautiful, unusual folk tale.

El-Mohtar creates a vivid mythology, filled with striking visual imagery.

The Art of Space Travel - Nina Allan - ★ ★ ★

A quiet story about memory and history and legacy set against an SF-nal background.

I liked the narrator and the stream of consciousness style, but it ultimately felt kind of unresolved.

Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies - Brooke Bolander - ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Short, intense, and unapologetically angry. read more )

Catalysts: The Scientific Method (Scientific Methods Universe #1) - Kris Ripper - ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Fuck. This is so fucking hot. And kinky. But also intense and emotionally revelatory and unconventionally romantic and one of the most honest depictions of poly I've ever read. read more )

Unexpected Gifts (Scientific Method Universe #2) - Kris Ripper - ★ ★ ★ ★

This series continues to be SO good. read more )

Take Three Breaths (Scientific Method Universe #3) - Kris Ripper - ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This one's a rough read, but entirely worth it. read more )
fairestcat: Dreadful the cat (Default)
[personal profile] fairestcat
This month you get a double-length playlist, because there were just too many tracks to choose from.

I might have a lot of feelings about the patriarchy and the ways I'd like to fuck it up. One or two at least.

Making it double length also meant I could justify having more than one track by a couple artist.

I've put content warnings on some of these songs. Unsurprisingly, considering the subject matter, there's some discussion of rape and some use of homophobic and misogynistic slurs.

40 songs. 2 hours, 23 minutes of music

fuck the patriarchy (I will not be afraid of women)
Zip file on dropbox (211MB) or Individual tracks on dropbox

As Cool As I Am - Dar Williams
Every Mother's Son - The Pretenders
Quiet - MILCK
Who's That Girl - Robyn
Pretty Hurts - Beyonce
Me And A Gun - Tori Amos (cw: rape)
The Oxford Girl - Oysterband (cw: implied violence against women)
Boys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed) - The Raveonettes (cw: rape)
A Girl Needs A Knife - Flash Girls
The Maid On The Shore - Stan Rogers
Real Men - Joe Jackson (cw: homophobic language)
Lucystoners - Amy Ray (cw: homophobic language)
Big Boy On A Saturday Night - Kirsty Maccoll
Daddy Lessons - Beyonce & The Dixie Chicks
Red Dirt Girl - Emmylou Harris
Fast Car - Tracy Chapman
Black Water - Alina Simone
The Old Maid In The Garrett - Steeleye Span
Chill Factor - The Pretenders
Burn - Phillipa Soo
Dixon's Girl - Dessa
Getting Ready To Get Down - Josh Ritter
Manic Pixie Dream Girl - Scary Bear Soundtrack and Avid Napper
Revolver - The Donnas
Break The Sky - The Hush Sound
Cry Like A Man - Christy Moore
When I Was A Boy - Dar Williams
No Mermaid - Sinead Lohan
Drinking With The Jocks - Against Me! (cw: homophobic and misogynistic language)
Androgynous - Joan Jett
Patriarch On A Vespa - Metric
The Ballad of Mary Magdalene - Richard Shindell
Sex Is Not The Enemy - Garbage
Goodbye Earl - Dixie Chicks
Milford Haven - Oysterband
Seneca Falls - The Distillers
I'm In The Band - Bratmobile
Bros - Wolf Alice
Feminism Is For Everybody (With A Beating Heart And A Functioning Brain) - Anti-Flag

As usual, I'd love a comment if you download.

Also, if you like anything I post I encourage you to buy more from the artists.

The saga continues...

Jul. 28th, 2017 04:15 pm
17catherines: Amor Vincit Omnia (Default)
[personal profile] 17catherines
Remember the blocked sink? 

Well, nobody wanted to call Engineering, since they had correctly surmised that a) Engineering would be unimpressed and b) there was a high likelihood that we would get in (well-deserved) trouble with Lab Ops.

So someone decided to put bleach down the sink.  It didn't clear the sink, but it did make everything smell worse.

Also, I got a plaintive email from one of my postdocs saying that while I was doing all these maternal emails could I please remind people to close the freezer doors after themselves.  And to, you know, maybe go into the lab and check what was going on when the freezer alarms went off, rather than completely ignoring them and letting samples defrost.

Anyway.  I decided that we really did have to involve Engineering, and sent them the following email:

Hi all,
 
Some idiot decided to wash their lunchbox in one of the lab sinks, which is now blocked.  I gather someone else then tried to use bleach to clear it, so now it is both blocked and smelly.
 
We have people doing lab tours through here for Open House Melbourne on Sunday, so while this is not quite an emergency, it would be great if someone could come and fix this ASAP!
 
Thanks,
 
Catherine
 
PS – I’m sorry my people are idiots.

This was received with favour by Engineering, who are used to scientists behaving like idiots, but not used to people owning up about it.  They promised to send someone.

By morning tea, the locals were getting restless.  One of my PhD students offered to unblock the sink himself, if Engineering could be persuaded to lend him a plunger.  I passed this handsome offer on to Engineering, with a note that I wasn't sure whether this was an offer of help, or an attempt to strike so much fear into their hearts that they would make us a high priority.

Engineering was amused, but did not send anyone.  I went to lunch.  This was a mistake, because when I came back I had a very sheepish RA waiting in my office.  Apparently, she had not been able to take the sight of the sink any longer, and had taken matters into her own hands.  She'd done quite well to start with - the sink is apparently much like her one at home, and she had successfully detached the pipe thingie, cleared it, and re-attached it.  Only then she realised that she still had pieces left. 

And she couldn't make them go back in.

Of course she couldn't.

Engineering came up to take a look, but they couldn't fix it.  Not today, anyway.  (A number of them are away, because they've had a pretty rough week for reasons that have nothing to do with my laboratory.

So the good news is, we no longer have a blocked sink.

We have a leaky sink. 

And I’m contemplating putting up a sign telling everyone to stay out of the lab because clearly they can’t be trusted in there.

Also, I'm no longer feeling like a kindergarten teacher.  I'm pretty sure 'monkey keeper in the zoo' is a more accurate job description.

(no subject)

Jul. 27th, 2017 08:06 pm
echan: Kaworu Nagisa from Evangelion (Default)
[personal profile] echan
I got asked by my former boss whether I had carpul tunnel. [Moved departments, still works w/ the company.] My wrist was sore so I had a brace on it. That happens, occasionally, has for over a decade. I use a brace for a few weeks when my wrist is sufficiently sort and tired and achy that it makes the hassle of using the brace worth it by comparison. I said I don't know if I do (and honestly, 'carpel tunnel' gets overused for any tech-related wrist RSI) and I haven't bothered seeing a doctor about it because finding a doctor for RSI is a crap-shoot and the only real 'treatment' is surgery and I don't want that. I know I have crap posture when using a computer, practically everyone I know does to some degree or another. All my hobbies are either on a computer or working with my hands. I'm concerned, of course I am, worried even. But a refresher dig through the literature turned up nothing new in the last decade, just the usual advice about having super-square posture for all body parts, as though the only focus anyone has while sitting at a computer is aligning everything for easier typing. I'm starting to seriously consider picking up a split keyboard (or two, one for home & one for work), since having the brace on the right wrist leads to more torquing the left wrist and making it ache too and there's no way to interpret that as good. But will this delay the inevitable until after android upgrades or death makes it irrelevant, I dunno.

oh, *you*

Jul. 27th, 2017 09:58 pm
cellio: (sca)
[personal profile] cellio

Our camp's Pennsic prep is a little unusual:

Me: dials phone
Her: Castle Towing1
Me: Hi. I'm going to need some towing at Cooper's Lake this weekend. Can I book that in advance?
Her: Oh you don't need to. We offer 24x7 road service; you can just call.
Me: It's a 20' trailer. Probably 3-ton, but we don't really know.
Her: ... oh. Uh, I don't know if we can do that.
Me: For what it's worth, you did it two years ago. That's why I specifically called you. But I understand things can change.
Her: I need to check with a driver. I'll call you back.

Return call:
Her: He remembers you. When did you say you need him?

With luck, this will be the last year we have to do our own towing for the house. The Coopers declared it too heavy for them to tow a couple years ago. A lot of what makes it too heavy is the kitchen structure and furniture we store in it. We are well under way with building a new kitchen trailer, which will replace most of that and store the rest between Pennsics. And that will make the house light enough that the Coopers should be willing to tow it to and from our campsite like they had done for years before the new rules. And hey, kitchen trailer instead of having to build and take down our current structure every year.

1 Yes, that really is their name, and yes they're familiar with the Pennsic site.

farm share, week 8

Jul. 27th, 2017 06:27 pm
magid: (Default)
[personal profile] magid
  • two pounds of mixed summer squash
  • one pound four ounces of cucumbers
  • two pounds of carrots (plus a couple extra as a late-bonus)
  • a bunch of herbs (I chose savory, and got a dill as a late-bonus; there was also basil)
  • two green peppers
  • a bunch of lacinato kale
  • two Ailsa Craig onions (and a few extra as a late-bonus)
  • a head of garlic with its stalk (and an extra as a late-bonus)
  • two hot house tomatoes (and two more as a late-bonus)
  • six ounces of shiitake mushrooms

Of note: no lettuce! All salad will be without greens!

First thoughts: tomato-cucumber-pepper salad with dill, maybe some roasted summer squash and dill; sauteed onions and mushrooms with....?; pickled carrots, onions.

Gratitudes

Jul. 27th, 2017 05:51 pm
kass: glasses of pink wine (rose)
[personal profile] kass
1. Friends who love me even when I'm having a terrible day.

2. The "New Beginnings" playlist that [personal profile] heresluck made for me last year, to which I am listening even now.

3. Setting a pretty Shabbat table for tomorrow night.

4. The many excellent things that have been recommended to me in the last 24 hours! I devoured The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe (a truly lovely novella) last night, and am now beginning to read Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman, which, um, yeah.

5. I'm gonna pour myself a glass of pink wine, because it's wine o'clock, y'all.

Important reading

Jul. 27th, 2017 04:44 pm
filkerdave: (oh good god)
[personal profile] filkerdave

Kameron Hurley wrote a piece about the very real anger and fear she feels about the current Republican effort to destroy the ACA.

It's called A Open Letter to All My Bullshit Relatives Cheering on My Impending Death.

I highly recommend that you read it, especially if you're a GOP or Trump voter.

daf bit: Sanhedrin 11

Jul. 27th, 2017 08:47 am
cellio: (talmud)
[personal profile] cellio

Remember that mishna I summarized last week, the first one of this tractate? The g'mara is still discussing it (not surprising, given its length). On today's daf the discussion turns to intercalating of years, the decision by a beit din to add a leap-month to the current year. The g'mara tells a story about a case of this and from it we learn lessons of humility:

The year can be intercalated only by a beit din appointed for that purpose. It once happened that Rabban Gamaliel had called for a court of seven to assemble early in the morning, but when he arrived he found eight people there. He asked the group: who has come without permission? Let him leave. Shmuel the Little said: I'm the extra; I didn't come to sit on the court but to learn the process. But Shmuel the Little wasn't the extra person; he spoke up to save the intruder from humiliation.

The g'mara tells another story of this kind of face-saving, this time about R. Meir. A woman came to his study hall and said: rabbi, one of you here has taken me to wife by cohabitation. R' Meir immediately arose and wrote her a get (a bill of divorce), after which every one of his disciples did likewise. And the g'mara says that he learned this from Shmuel the Little. (11a)

QotD

Jul. 27th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"You can't claim to love MLK and hate BLM.

"I mean you can...but you're a liar if you do."

-- Emma Evans, 2017-01-16

17catherines: Amor Vincit Omnia (Default)
[personal profile] 17catherines
Last week, it was emails about stinky fridges and cleaning up after yourself in our mini kitchen area.

Yesterday, it was emails about not leaving dirty towels and smelly running clothes strewn all over the balcony (where it can be seen by the entire institute, who might reasonably draw the conclusion that my Division is populated exclusively by teenage boys).

And today, it was this:

Read more... )


I mean, really.  THIS is what I'm paid for?  I'm beginning to feel as though early childhood learning would be useful professional development.


Mobile game/app recs (part one)

Jul. 26th, 2017 10:06 pm
ysobel: (easily distracted)
[personal profile] ysobel
Games

Okay so a few months back, I was going to post about the games (mostly iOS) that I was obsessed with, only then I decided I had to do the Best And Most Thorough Recs Ever. Which sort of made it such a stupendously monumental task that I never did it.

I still may do a more in-depth thing later, but these are my current or recent iOS games. (Some may be available on other platforms, I don't know.)

The Game Formerly Known As Abyssrium

I'm sure they had good reasons for changing the name from Abyssrium (which evoked the premise of a deep-ocean virtual aquarium) to "Tap Tap Fish" (ugh) but the change very nearly kicked it off the list. But ... eh.

Read more... )

#

Zen Koi

Here, fishy fishy fishy. Pretty fishy.

Read more... )

#

Merge Dragons!

This game has taken over my life, I think. I even get the Tetris effect of closing my eyes and seeing MD stuff.

Read more... )

I have more, but this is enough for one post /) I'm not sure whether the remainder will be one post or two.

Feel free to ask me any questions about any of these apps.

layers and layers

Jul. 26th, 2017 06:30 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
If you want to understand what is going on in DC, you have to think of it as a layer cake, one of those many-layer tortes, or maybe as layers of rock in geological strata, from sedimentary stuff at the bottom of a lake and igneous and metamorphic rock shoving up and transforming because of heat and pressure, with magma at the bottom of it all, or at the center, depending on the diagram you learned from.

What am I talking about? Stuff where Trump opens his mouth and sick toads fall out and sit on the sidewalk, blinking and vomiting. Ugly sick bloated toads, like the speech to the Boy Scouts and the outrageous dismissal of all transgender military personnel.

(My apologies to all truly healthy toads throughout the country, living their lives peaceably, eating flies and mosquitos and staying far from politics.)

I know these things are serious. I know. The president is trampling on people's value, on people's lives, in every direction, cynically and carelessly. But you cannot take them as the only thing that is happening. Horrible as they are, they are only the poisoned icing on the cake, the noxious smoke from the volcano, the peeling top layer of slate. They are *meant* to get you mad. They are *designed* to keep you upset.

Why? So you won't pay attention to what's going on behind the scenes, down there in the strata. Down there, the separation of church and state is being eroded. Women's right to have a say about how their own bodies are treated is being chipped away. The little tiny things we do not see that have huge effects, things that pile up, like permission to get past environmental checks before running oil and gas pipelines near drinking water. The elimination of much of the Congressional Budget Office staff because they vetoed Trumpnocare. I could go on and on. Often I do, and you see it here; sometimes I don't even put it here because it gets me that upset.

I am not saying not to be upset. It is upsetting. Transpeople should be able to serve in the military without comment. To say otherwise is a violation of equal rights under the law. Boy Scouts (and Girl Scouts and other young people's groups) should not have to listen to insane political harangues, should not be put into that arena. National monuments, parks and seashores should stay untouched by developers, drillers, exploiters.

But yelling at Trump, writing to him, even if it feels good to you, won't make a difference. He does not give a flying fuck about any of us -- why would he care about how any subset of us is affected? He thinks health care costs $12 a month. He probably thinks someone who is transgender changes their clothes on a train, or in transit. There is no limit to his lack of understanding and his lack of caring about anything he doesn't understand.

Keep your eyes on the small stuff, the bits and pieces that aren't on page one. Look for what's on page six or the back of a section, with a smaller headline (or in places like The Hill or Politico or other politically based newsletters. Pick one or two areas that interest you, and follow what is going on with them.

And then write your Senators and Congresspeople about them -- on their own email system. (yes, here is that contact list again.) They cannot ignore mail from their own constituents for long. If the time is short, phone and ask to talk to a staff person, instead of leaving a message. Tell them what you think, what you want, briefly and to the point. Tell them you're outraged, when you are. Tell them what you think of what Trump is doing, and (if your rep or Senator is Republican) how can any thinking person possibly agree or support this, because (up to three good reasons). And then, "Thank you for hearing me as a constituent", and give them your name as it is on the voter rolls so they can look it up. Once a week. Pick one thing a week. The staffers should start recognizing your name, your voice.

And keep an eye on the vulnerable Republican seats, House and Senate, the ones that can be overturned in the next election. Support the people running in the primaries to oppose the heartless idiots in office.

Do not be taken in by the sparkly floor show with the mouthy MC. Keep your eyes on what's happening behind the curtain, up in the lighting gallery, over in the wings. That's where things are being done. Look for possible trades and swaps -- Reps and Senators voting for things they should not vote for -- and ask them why they are making such poor, harmful choices? Who benefits from these choices? Follow the money, but also follow the influence. Who's being bought and sold here?

I trust you, all of you. I don't know you that well, but I trust you to do the right thing insofar as you know what it is, and to ask good questions when it isn't obvious. Go find the molten lava under the rock and raise hell. Go and comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, because every one of us matters.

Short rows! Or, k-r has opinions.

Jul. 26th, 2017 05:29 pm
killing_rose: Baby corvid, looking incredibly fluffy and adorable (fluffy raven)
[personal profile] killing_rose posting in [community profile] knitting
So I am currently working on the Wonder Woman wrap (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/wonder-woman-wrap) that's been making the rounds. It's a solidly written pattern. I do freely admit that I am only partially using the pattern; making substitutions and changes is my prerogative and also something that I do on most projects because I can't work with fingering and thus have to make changes to almost any pattern.*

It's also fairly easy, relying on garter, M1, and kfb for most of the shaping. The points of the Ws are made by double decrease. However, it does use short rows. This is, apparently, a reason many people I know do not want to make it.

This is like my at least fifth short row project in a year. I really love short rows. I was, thus, exceptionally confused a couple months ago when someone at the knitting table said, "I don't do short rows. They're difficult and fiddly and I don't like them."

So I poked at them to explain this. And this is when I discovered that this person was under the assumption that there's only one technique for short rows. Guys, here is where I admit: every person I know who likes short rows has their own personal favorite technique. But most people who have met short rows and run away screaming have never said, "I hate this technique, but maybe I won't hate another technique." Mostly because there are like five different ways to do it, but since they evolved in different places, not everyone's heard of them. So, this is me, giving resources in case you want to knit the above project (or a different one) and you just really cannot bring yourself to like short rows.

I loathe wrap and turn with every fiber of my being. It doesn't work for me. It just doesn't. My first couple projects used the yarnover technique. Unfortunately, this doesn't work for all projects. So the first project I made that used wrap and turn I dropped in a heap and said, "NOPE" at very loudly. And then I got a book from the library and studied all the different options to try and figure out what might work for my brain.

And when I found one that worked for me, I hung out at the knitting table, checked my phone a couple dozen times to make sure I was doing it right, and clung to it like it was the best thing ever. Now, I use that particular technique any time there's a short row project I'm doing. It saves my sanity. (It also means I've never had to use safety pins in my work; there was a project where I may have, in frustration, snarled out the words who the hell thought that the Japanese short row technique was the fastest technique on the planet and or their favorite. However, there are people who do so, and this is fine. [When I am not being introduced to new and fun ways to torture my brain mid-project setup. I am not at my best mid-project setup.])

For me, German short rows are my very favorite thing. This is a good tutorial for them: http://www.lamaisonrililie.com/knittingtherapy/german-short-rows

This is a good instruction for wrap and turn: http://knotions.com/techniques/how-to-knit-short-rows/

This is a free class by the author whose book saved my sanity: https://www.craftsy.com/knitting/classes/short-rows/35255

And this is the book in question: https://www.amazon.com/Short-Row-Knits-Workshop-Learn-as-You-Knit/dp/0804186340/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

As an important note, for patterns like the Wonder Woman wrap, where they use w&t, you knit the stitch you're supposed to wrap, flip around to the other side, and do the german short row technique on that side.

So, what's your opinion on short rows? Or Wonder Woman? Or both? :)


*This is, I note, not a "I don't like fingering" but "I have two projects in fingering right now, and even on size five or six needles (let's not talk about the idiocy of the size 4 project), it still makes my poor, abused hands [thank you chronic illnesses] make me nauseated and need more pain meds." But some yarn is really pretty, so I do about three projects a year in fingering and the rest in medium, chunky, or bulky yarns.

wednesday reads 'n things

Jul. 26th, 2017 04:04 pm
isis: (Default)
[personal profile] isis
What I've recently finished reading:

Text: Empowered: Agent (Empowered, #1) by Dale Ivan Smith, which so far is the best Instafreebie book I've tried (a rather low bar). The world-building is simple but fun; it's not just that Empowered people (that is, people with superhero-type powers) exist, but it's also an alternate history - one in which Richard Nixon prevented a nuclear war from escalating into global destruction "after Washington DC had been destroyed by a Soviet nuke fired from Cuba." (So I guess Kennedy didn't stop the Soviets...) This only shows up incidentally, at least in this book, but I am charmed by Nixon being considered a hero in this universe.

Mat is a good character, an interesting woman with a skill - manipulating growing plants - that is clearly much more useful (and lethal) than anyone gives her credit for. The Hero Council choice of "join us if we can use you, otherwise you must swear to never use your power" seems rather terrible to me, a bit of shoddy world-building but I guess it's needed for the plot. Her choices and actions are reasonable, especially as circumstances paint her into a corner. I like that she has a family she cares about, and I also like the lack of romance (though I suspect one is building).

The writing is okay, not great, though it's mostly free of typos and technically adequate. There are few obvious errors (such as a character being identified by name before Mat would actually know her name) but also few flashes of brilliance. Mostly it's just somewhat flat. I didn't feel particularly pulled along or emotionally invested, and this, plus uneven pacing toward the end, contributed to a general feeling of anticlimax.

Audio: Plus One by Elizabeth Fama, which was a SYNC offering, and surprisingly enjoyable and novel for dystopian YA. This is set in an alternate future in which the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 led to the need for split-shift staffing of hospitals, a day set and a night set of doctors and nurses, which in turn proved so efficient that the division between day workers and night workers was expanded to all parts of life, formalized and codified and enforced by law. But as daylight living is more natural and presumably more enjoyable, gradually the night people ("Smudges") became stereotyped as stupid, undesirable, lesser than the day people ("Rays") - and it took me until about 3/4 through the book to realize this was a civil rights allegory.

Yes, there is some suspension of disbelief required, but no more than, say, teenagers fighting to the death broadcast on television, or a society discarding all but a hundred selected novels, songs, and films. And what makes this an actually good book is that the plot is legitimately interesting and complex, and goes in unexpected (but foreshadowed) ways. There is a romance, which is somewhat cutesy and predictable, but at least it's not a love triangle - and, speaking of YA tropes, though this is in first person it is in PAST TENSE THANK GOD.

I liked the ending, which is not pat or universally happy, and which leaves a lot of things open-ended for a sequel (or for fanfiction). I would like to have seen a more explicitly "fight the system" plot, with Sol and the other characters actively working to bring the system down - maybe this will be in a subsequent book? Finally, I ship Sol/Gigi la la la and will be nominating this for Yuletide.

The audio version also includes "Noma Girl", a prequel short story which is also available free online. It was a nice fleshing-out of incidents only alluded to in the novel, but there's no new worldbuilding or anything unexpected here. I did like the more sympathetic view of Gigi. I don't think it will make sense if you haven't read the novel.

Webcomic: For some reason I followed a link (from Goodreads, maybe?) to The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal by E. K. Weaver, which I'd vaguely heard of through osmosis but really didn't know anything about (I didn't realize it was a comic, for one; for some reason I thought it had to do with lesbians) and devoured it over the course of four or five days. It's a gay (m/m, and has some nsfw) roadtrip story in which the title characters get to know each other and find themselves (well, sort of). If you haven't read it, I recommend it! There is a tiny fandom, and I believe the comic was originally posted on LJ as a WIP.

What I'm reading now: Cibola Burn, the fourth Expanse book. So far I'm about 25% in and enjoying it more than the previous book, Abaddon's Gate. Also, wow, apparently all minor characters are gay in this universe, or at least every throwaway line about people being married refers to a same-sex relationship.

What I'm reading next: Now that I'm recommitted to this book series, I've got the next two on my phone.

What I've just finished watching:

Movie: I finally watched Hidden Figures, and it was every bit as awesome as I'd hoped. ♥ My mother was a chemist for the FDA before and during this era, and I realized that at least she had the advantage of being white (though she had the disadvantage of being Jewish). I can't imagine what it must have been like to have both racism and sexism barriers looming so hugely in one's life.

TV: We have finished S2 of The Expanse! I am still a little weirded out by the timelines of book series and show being off from each other. I also thought the Ganymede plot was done better by the show, but the Avasarala and Bobbie plot was done better in the books.

What I'm watching next: Nothing for a while, because on Saturday we are headed out for a week of backpacking in the wilderness and so we might as well hold off on starting anything new. I'm trying to talk B into getting a short-term subscription to HBO Now via Amazon Prime so we can watch Game of Thrones. (His objections are that a, he hates WIPs even more than I do and wants to be able to watch every day or every other day rather than waiting a week between episodes, and b, he is sure they will make it hard for us to cancel after a month or two.)

In the meantime, [community profile] remixrevival has signups through Sunday, and [community profile] crossovering has extended signups through Sunday, so if either of these interest you, you have a few more days to join up!

Need a little help please, guys...

Jul. 26th, 2017 04:48 pm
digitalwave: (Default)
[personal profile] digitalwave
Still been a rough few weeks. Still dealing with health and financial issues plus a close friend, of more than thirty years, has just been diagnosed with Stage Four stomach cancer.

His tumor is rare and particularly nasty. Even with chemo it doesn't look good but he's a fighter. Heck, he had his first round of chemo yesterday and today he and his band, the Bowlers, are playing at the Ohio State Fair. As Danya put it, he may have to sit his 'Rocking Ass down for it but he'll be there". Mike is their lead guitarist.

Mike and Danya are two of the nicest people on this planet! Danya is a Vet, Mike is an incredible artist/musician. Each year at WonderFest he designs a Plaque to honor the show based on Lee's designs for the show that year. They are always beautiful and true works of art. As soon as I can I'm going to be taking pictures of any of the previous year's Plaques we still have to post to eBay so I can send anything we can make off them along via Mike's paypal account.

Before he got sick, Mike was feeding and caring for several feral cat colony's in Columbus. Besides their own menagerie of fur balls they've rescued and love at home. You wouldn't believe the cat runs, the cat sun room he's designed for them, they're amazing. Both of them truly live lives of service to others, be they human or tend to purr. A GoFundme has been set up to help them with the massive medical bills they're facing right now. Please, if you can, take a look, definitely share the link if you wouldn't mind:

Mike & Danya's Rocking Support Group:
https://www.gofundme.com/mike-danyas-rocking-support-rock?utm_source=internal&utm_medium=email&utm_content=campaign_title&utm_campaign=donation_receiptv5

As for me, still fighting to get over this latest flareup of my lupus. Plus, I'm still trying to sell whatever I can to help us pay bills and make ends meet. I'm getting stuff posted to Ebay to sell now that my vision has settled down a little from my flare. If you guys wouldn't mind sharing what I've posted I'd really appreciate it. Here's the link:

http://stores.ebay.com/Barbaras-Essentials

If you see anything you'd like, but would rather pay for it here, let me know and I can tell you what it'd be with postage. My Paypal is bstaton@iglou.com. If you do buy something, if you wouldn't mind, send payment for it via friends and family. That way they don't take out all the fees.

Any help passing this along would be greatly appreciated. I'm going to keep adding stuff to sell as I can get pictures taken. If you guys wouldn't mind sharing what I've posted I'd really appreciate it. Here's the link:

http://stores.ebay.com/Barbaras-Essentials

If you see anything you'd like, but would rather pay for it here, let me know and I can tell you what it'd be with postage. My Paypal is bstaton@iglou.com. If you do buy something, if you wouldn't mind, send payment for it via friends and family. That way they don't take out all the fees.

Any help passing this along, too, would be greatly appreciated. I'm going to keep adding stuff to sell as I can get pictures taken.

Thanks, guys, as always, for listening. Love you!

*hugs*

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mamadeb

February 2011

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